Many community gardens and spaces throughout Britain are only made possible by the sheer passion, skills and hard work of volunteers. Recruiting, involving and inspiring volunteers in the right way is really important, many community spaces can’t grow without their help. Here are some useful hints and tips to help you find volunteers and work with them to develop your community garden project.
There are many things to consider when you're looking to recruit volunteers. Start by asking yourself some questions:
- What would you like to achieve with your project?
- What activities do you need volunteers to do?
- How many volunteers will you need?
- Will they need training or supervision?
- Would you like volunteers to come along to take part in regular or ad-hoc activities? Or a combination of both?
- Will you need volunteers to join the organising group or help to manage group finances?
Once you know what you need, you should then think about how to make the volunteering opportunities appealing and exciting so members of the local community will want to come and take part. Volunteers will want to know the impact they'll have, what they'll learn and the experience they could get by taking part.
Promoting volunteer opportunities
Answering these questions could help you find the perfect volunteers for your project. There are many ways to recruit volunteers, you could use social media, websites (a popular one is www.do-it.org), local radio, posters, leaflets in local shops or adverts in your newspaper and community newsletter. The local council, youth groups, schools, businesses, local volunteer centres and community groups, such as The Rotary Club are also places that could spread the word and help you find local people to get involved.
When advertising, include things such as the date, time, role, where it will take place, when opportunities will happen and the skills that are needed. You'll probably find that the more appealing the opportunities sound and the more flexible they are, the more people will get in touch.
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